Coastal Plastics: Freetown, Sierra Leone


March 25th, 2022


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The Problem

More than 10,000 people live in Kroo Bay, Sierra Leone that is based on a floating extension to the coastline made up of plastic. Poverty, a lack of infrastructure and over-population have led locals to illegally build houses on the coastline. In the absence of a waste collection system, rivers act as disposal points and routes for waste from informal settlements. Consequently, waste flows to the sea and accumulates around coastal settlements like Kroo Bay. Perennial flooding causes water contaminated with effluent to spread diseases through the area and flood homes.

Freetown Copyright

Our Solution

Using satellite imagery, it was possible for us to map out the extent and growth of this bay, as well as identify the presence of plastics being deposited into the ocean (brown and white speckles in the image above). GlobalTrust can also observe landfill and waste refuges within the city itself. Initial analysis shows that these regions are very exposed and could be subject to pollution seepage and leaching into the nearby rivers and settlements. Once the analysis has been performed and validated, the information can also be automated to form the creation of an ongoing service.